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Kosiver leads the way over Scituate

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Kosiver leads the way over Scituate

Ponaganset senior co-captain Grace Wells-Dannenfelser, left, gets ready to pass the ball to an open teammate as she takes the ball down the court, and away from Scituate junior guard Madison Medbury, during last Friday night’s game. Medbury scored a game-high 16 points. (Breeze photos by Kayla Panu)

Ponaganset senior co-captain Grace Wells-Dannenfelser, left, gets ready to pass the ball to an open teammate as she takes the ball down the court, and away from Scituate junior guard Madison Medbury, during last Friday night’s game. Medbury scored a game-high 16 points. (Breeze photos by Kayla Panu)

Ponaganset senior co-captain Grace Wells-Dannenfelser, left, gets ready to pass the ball to an open teammate as she takes the ball down the court, and away from Scituate junior guard Madison Medbury, during last Friday night’s game. Medbury scored a game-high 16 points. (Breeze photos by Kayla Panu)

Ponaganset senior co-captain Grace Wells-Dannenfelser, left, gets ready to pass the ball to an open teammate as she takes the ball down the court, and away from Scituate junior guard Madison Medbury, during last Friday night’s game. Medbury scored a game-high 16 points. (Breeze photos by Kayla Panu)

Kayla Panu, Observer Sports Writer

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GLOCESTER – Comfortable at home and facing a neighboring rival, the Ponaganset High girls’ basketball team enacted its game plan last Friday night and turned in an outstanding performance defensively in the first half before holding on for a 39-31 win over Scituate.

Before that victory, the Chieftains had a Division II record of 2-4 and an overall mark of 2-8, but both records are not indicative of how they’ve played this season. Three of their losses have been on the road by four or less points.

“We haven’t played particularly well away from here, but we play very well here,” Ponaganset head coach Gary Martinelli said. “In three games we lost, we lost them literally at the buzzer. We lost to Narragansett at the buzzer; we were up by two (points) and they hit a prayer three to win it.”

“Last year, those wins went in our favor, but this year, they haven’t,” Martinelli added. “We had to dig down and work better defensively, and that’s pretty much what we’ve done the last week. We really worked on tightening up our defense because it wasn’t as good as it needed to be.”

Ponaganset’s defense stymied the Spartans to the point where they couldn’t get their first points until more than midway through the first half. With 7:15 to play, Madison Medbury finally broke the shutout with a bucket, but by then, the Chieftains had a 14-0 lead.

“When you struggle shooting the way we do, you got to defend, and tonight, we defended,” said Martinelli.

At halftime, the Chieftains held an 18-5 lead, but later in the second half, the Spartans made it a game, despite never being able to overtake Ponaganset. Leah Bessette finally found her shot, and Talia St. Angelo gave Scituate a spark off the bench.

A three-pointer by Ashley Stewart gave the Chieftains a 20-point command, 32-12, but down the stretch, the Spartans sliced their deficit to 38-31 on a three-point play by Medbury with less than a minute to play.

In the last minute, the Spartans resorted to fouling the Chieftains to get the ball back. Ponaganset only hit one free throw in the remaining seconds, but Scituate wasn’t able to capitalize and score any more points.

“I’m really proud of them,” Martinelli said of his players. “(We had a) great crowd tonight; both teams brought a lot of people. And it’s always great to play Scituate, being right next door. Good coach, good team – when you beat them, you know you’re playing well.”

Senior co-captain Shelby Kosiver led the Chieftains’ offensively with 13 points, while junior Brooke Bergin added eight. The team’s only other senior, co-captain Grace Wells-Dannenfelser, also played an excellent game in the backcourt.

“We don’t have a star, but if we play well together, we can win,” Martinelli said. “Our captains really stepped up tonight; they do a lot of little things and they are our catalysts. We kind of go as they go. They bring a lot of energy; they are great defenders, they rebound well, and they’re fearless.”

Despite having just two 12th-graders and two juniors on their varsity roster, Ponaganset has a lot of experience.

“I think everybody else on varsity is a returning player,” Martinelli said. “I have four sophomores that played as freshmen.”

The Spartans, meanwhile, came into last Friday’s game with three straight wins, but dropped to 5-1 in the division and 7-2 overall. Scituate, which was down a key player, Kristi Ferrucci, who is out with an injury, was led by Medbury’s game-high 16 points, which included the five points her team scored in the first half.

Ponaganset, which was in Pawtucket on Tuesday for a game against Shea, will host Tiverton tonight at 6:30 p.m. The Spartans, who hosted the Prout School on Tuesday, will pay a visit to Westerly tonight at 7 p.m. before also visiting Shea next Monday.

Boxscore
Friday January 18, 2019 7:00pm
1 2 Total
Scituate High School 5 26 31
Ponaganset High School 18 21 39

 

Player stats – Scituate High School
Name Pts FGM 3PM FTM FTA
Taylor Parker 2 1 0 0 0
Madison Medbury 16 6 2 2 3
Leah Bessette 4 2 0 0 2
Lexi Parker 0 0 0 0 0
Rachel Oster 0 0 0 0 1
Julia Olson 3 1 1 0 0
Emma LaPlante 2 1 0 0 0
Molly Gelsomino 0 0 0 0 0
Talia St. Angelo 4 2 0 0 0
Total 31 13 3 2 6
Player stats – Ponaganset High School
Name Pts FGM 3PM FTM FTA
Shelby Kosiver 13 5 1 2 4
Grace Wells-Danenfelser 4 2 0 0 2
Brooke Bergin 8 3 0 2 3
Leah Yekelchick 0 0 0 0 0
Mackenzie Mitchell 6 2 0 2 5
McKenzie Field 2 1 0 0 0
Ashley Stewart 6 2 1 1 3
Liana Nerbonne 0 0 0 0 2
Alexis Viti 0 0 0 0 0
Total 39 15 2 7 19
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